Saturday, January 29, 2005

6 degrees of trepidation

Monday, January 31, 2005

I haven’t been around for a while because I’ve been busy trying to find just the right shades of brown to put back in my lately graying, formerly blondish-brunette sorta hair. The reason I was doing so was because I was going to a slumber party with five other gals and wanted to look, if not my best, at least presentable. I met the gang at Trish’s house late Saturday afternoon. I knew
Trish, who knew Robbie and Andrea, who knew DiAnne and Carol. Some of us had never met before, except through our journals. Everyone knew Hunny.

I’ve always thought of my journal as an abstract piece, a breezy little bit of me that I could send out into an unknown universe without consequence or cause. Like a Navaho sand painting or a Buddhist mandala, I thought of these pages as ephemeral ~ objects created to a specific purpose; which, once completed, had fulfilled their objectives and need exist no longer. Such pieces are always anonymous, for the identity of the creator is unimportant ~ it's the act of creating, as meditation, ritual or prayer, that gives the exercise meaning. It's one of the reasons I've never backed up the files; it seemed somehow to cheat that sense of writing on the net as temporary and immaterial; a kind of great cosmic shout out that, once expressed, required and expected no other result.

In the year or so that I've been reading and writing, I've come to know, or imagine I know, other wandering souls who, for one reason or another, have felt the same communicative impulse. And I've thought of my virtual world in here as complete and separate from my actual existence because, well; up until recently, it always has been.

We all give up a certain amount o f privacy in these exercises ~ some more, some less ~ but every one of us lays bare an element of ourselves to a unknown, untested, and potentially hostile cyber-world. We present ourselves as genuinely as we can, and reach out and invite others to get to know us if they will. And they do, but always at a remove; like tinting one's hair, what is presented is always a matter of choice, and to step outside of this artificial construct is to sacrifice a huge element of control. It leaves us all vulnerable, and requires a certain amount of trust in what is, to a large extent, a self-selecting but disparate group of relative strangers.

My fellow slumber party girls were wives and mothers, professional women and friends, and I was truly moved to meet in person the beautiful young women behind the gauzy drapery of the internet. My only regret is that there was not enough time to get to know them better on an individual basis. Maybe next time. Maybe in their journals.

As I write this on Monday, it's a glorious day in California ~ the sun is shining, the wind is blowing and the girls are loaded up in Robbie's blue convertible and headed for San Diego ~ elusive, ethereal still, but intangible no longer.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

open letter to george bush

Dear George,

You don’t mind if I call you George, do you? I know you’re a folksy kind of guy, a real ‘man of the people’ as they used to say at Yale. Around here we usually refer to you as ‘The Idiot Boy-Prince,’ but it’s an awkward term and doesn’t roll off the tongue. So I’ll just call you George, and you can call me anytime.

First off, kudos on the election, man. None of us believed you had it in you, I swear. Imagine; a failed businessman and a rich man’s son who dodged the draft, can barely read his own press releases and who needed an electronic device planted in his ear to be able to respond to questions during televised ‘debates,’ actually winning over an intelligent, informed, Viet Nam war veteran who not only can read but can respond to questions with considerable thought and intelligence! Not with brevity, though, more’s the pity. If there’s one thing the American people won’t tolerate it’s a leader who thinks and speaks at a deliberate pace, right George? Heh-heh-heh.

And rushing all those electronic voting machines into service, even though the experts told you that they could be hacked by any clever teenager with a Compaq and 30 seconds to spare? You know; the e-machines owned by your buddies, including the one who promised to “deliver Ohio to George Bush?” Did they ever!

Of course, it was the fact that your boys Rove, Wolfowitz et al managed to convince all those red states that we’re in the midst of a Holy War between the good people who watch PAX TV and the truly fabulous people who watch ‘Will and Grace’ and that the future of marriage and meatloaf depended on the outcome that really did the trick. "Idiot Boy" hell ~ that was genius! Can’t find any Weapons of Mass Destruction? The alleged reason for going to war? Psshaw. Like Jon Stewart said, it’s about dudes kissin' dudes, baby! And Britney Spears’ right to marry any trucker she meets. And Donald Trump’s new reality show, “Who Wants to be My Next Wife?”

But by now you’re wondering what my point was, and come to think of it so am I! You’re just so easy to talk to, George; that’s why so many voted for you; they said that you’re the one they wanted to have a beer with; not some guy who would talk to them like he was actually smarter than they were. Like that’s what you want in a President! Sheesh!

Anyways, here’s the thing, George. Let’s just say that 51% of the American people voted for you. That means 49% of the voting public voted for someone else. I know it’s hard, so I’ll do the math for you: you won by a scant 2% of the vote. 2%. That’s not a mandate; that’s a margin of error. So that sweeping hurricane of mass destruction you’ve got planned, including: obliterating social security, eliminating taxes for the wealthy and imposing them on the poor and middle class; dismantling all environmental and consumer protections, institutionalizing torture and negating civil rights protections and advancements made since the 1950’s, to name just a few; well, you just haven’t got the right to do it. Period. We’ll fight you, George. And this is why:

1,370 American soldiers have been killed, 10,000 soldiers injured and at least 100,000 Iraqi people are dead in a war that is so shrouded in propaganda that we never see the coffins coming home. You and your cronies spent $40 million on smug, self-congratulatory black tie keggers while good men and women, many of whom voted for you, wept over the loss of wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters.

And still, in your inaugural speech you had the astonishing gall to ask our youngest citizens to believe the “evidence of your eyes” and “make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants.” As your own shining daughters of privilege looked on, wearing designer gowns and carefree smiles. You didn’t mention when they’d be leaving for boot camp.

Shame on you, Mr. President. Shame on us all.